Portage police seek man in murder of 82-year-old father

Kalamazoo County

PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Police say they believe a man found dead in his Portage home last Sunday was killed by his son. 

The Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office has authorized an open murder charge against Scott Sterffy, 56, in the death of his father Dr. Thomas Aye.

A photo of Dr. Thomas Aye. (courtesy Building Functional Esthetics)

Aye, 82, was a retired oral surgeon who practiced for about 30 years in the Kalamazoo area.

Sterffy lived in and out of Aye’s home.

One of the doctor’s daughters showed up to the home Sunday when she couldn’t get a hold of him earlier that day. 

“She came to the house and walked in,” said Nicholas Armold, the director of Portage Public Safety. “She soon found her dad on the floor and immediately called police and fire, and then when we arrived it was obvious that the doctor had passed.”

Court records also include a charge of disinterment or mutilation of a dead body against Sterffy. 

“Some severe injuries to the doctor that not only led us to seek murder charges but to also seek dismemberment and mutilation charges as well,” Armold said. “We were able to determine that Scott was actually staying at the house during the time we believe the murder took place.”

Police say Sterffy has fled Michigan and has since been spotted in Chicago and Seattle. Investigators believe he was in Seattle as recently as Thursday. Sterffy is considered armed and dangerous. 

A photo of Scott Sterffy and two surveillance images of him provided by police.

“We have partnering with the U.S. Marshals Service now that the warrant has been issued to begin the work to locate where he was at and then ultimately take him into custody,” Armold said. 

Anyone with information about Sterffy or the killing can call Portage police at 269.329.4567 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.

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